Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Cloth Diapers Are...Done (Musings on Potty Training)

[So this post is actually from way back in April, but I came over to check up on things, and turns out I never actually hit the button.  So sorry!  Just imagine yourself three months previous and you should be good to go.  Thanks!]

Hi guys.  Been awhile, I know.  This household has been a busy one - annual National Guard training that left me a single mom for three weeks, potty training, catching up on homework, catching up on parenting, catching up on marriage, catching up on life.

I hope you caught that potty training bit, because it's sort of a big deal.  And by big deal, I mean that we no longer use cloth diapers.  Yeah, that's right, we have a (more or less) potty trained child!

What happened?  Peer pressure.  All she needed was two hours of watching her friends using their potty at their home, and the next day she basically started training herself.  Since that fateful day, we've been working out of diapers into underwear one small step at a time.  She's even gone on a couple tentative grocery trips and walks to the park in underwear.

I learned something important from watching my child develop this skill over the last month -

Kids learn differently. [Uh, yeah, Shelby.  That's, like, child-rearing 101.]  

I've decided that each different method of potty training isn't better than another, but rather, each will be effective if it hits a child's learning style.  I know the 3-day potty party method works, because I personally know kids that it worked for.  Same goes for the bribery method.  Why didn't they work for my kid, though?  Because she likes to do things with her peers. (But not with me, apparently.  I tried the show-and-tell method for months and it did nothing.)  Since this slow realization I've been keeping a more watchful eye on how she relates with her friends, and I have seen that her interest in copying other kids is high, and I mean really high.

On one hand, it's great.  When my child follows a three-year-old buddy around the park, she will push herself to try out new parts of the playground that I can't convince her to go near.  On the other hand, it means that I will have to be extra-sensitive to what sorts of influence her friends will have on her.  But this realization has been good for me.  I see my child a little bit more as a future adult with her own strengths and weaknesses. I can't just teach through the "methods" from books or what's popular in the child-rearing world and expect immediate success. Rather, I have to teach my child in ways that fits how she learns and who she is as a little person.

It's been a bit sobering realizing all this.  One, because I can't slack on my parenting if I really want to follow through on this discovery. I have to stay alert to what she's absorbing in the world and how she's taking it all in, and then work with it to influence her in the direction I want to see her go in life.  Two, its another sign that she's growing up, and growing up quickly. My chance to influence my child is going to be gone sooner than I'd like.  Now is the time for me to set a foundation of showing her healthy peer relationships by guiding her when she is with her friends and setting an example with my own friendships.

But the future also looks pretty bright from here.  This house is going to be stocked with potty rewards [commonly referred to as M&Ms] for a very, very long time. :)

How did the potty training process go for you?  Did you find that certain ways worked a lot better than others?  Did you see your child's style of learning come out in their potty training?

Friday, February 7, 2014

Cloth Diapers at 22 & 23 Months

Since my child has only been two for a couple of weeks, I don't think I can write the "Cloth Diapers and a Two Year Old" post quite yet.  I do promise, however, that this is the last month-based cloth diaper post for this child.

However, I am pretty sure there will be some more cloth diaper posts which are related to this child.  Potty training officially began this week, and I'm already considering taking a hiatus for a bit.  What is it with toddlers that as soon as you decide to really start working on the next growing-up stage, they suddenly hate it?  This child has loved sitting on her potty since we got it last summer, but suddenly now that she's being asked to use it, she refuses.

So, because of this, my guess is we will be in diapers for at least a few more months.

How did diapering go these last two months?  Let me tell you!

Adelle - 22 & 23 months

# of Children: 1

Gender: female

Size: 25 lbs, 33 inches tall

Average # of Diapers a day: 6 [ish. It varies day by day, but six would be average]

Laundry Schedule: Every three-four days.  Four day stretches seem to happen because there are more and more times where she winds up in disposables for half a day, so it takes longer to go through the basket of cloth diapers.

Routine: pre-folds used during awake times [changed every 2 hours], disposables for naps and at night.

Diaper Size: Thirsties covers - size 2, middle setting, Disposables - size  4 [if she was in all-in-ones, they would be in the middle settings]

Leaking?: when I forget to change her for a few hours.  Usually it happens while we are out.  Because its happened a few too many times, I have actually started putting her in disposables when we go out.

How's the Poo?: Nothing to complain about.  She did poo in her potty for the first time a couple days ago [!!!].  And believe me, she got every color m&m she asked for.

Did you Use Disposables?: We are using disposables for naps and bedtime now, and more and more so when we go out or have babysitters.

Any Changes: I get sort of sad realizing that the all-in-ones are pretty much done being used until we have another child.  They just haven't been holding her pee as well as pre-folds have, and definitely don't work while she's sleeping anymore.

Any Issues: None.

Still Like Cloth?: Yes and no.  I think I'm just getting tired of diapers in general, but I am really grateful to have them to help keep costs lower.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Brand New Two Year Old

For a couple of months leading up to Kiddo's second birthday, I got asked by more than one person if we were going to have another birthday party like last year.

The answer, unfortunately, was no.

This year's birthday was quite a bit smaller in scale [excluding presents. We're considering renting our neighbor's house for extra storage].  The reason for this, if you really care to know, was the Army.  Good ol' National Guard decided to schedule their weekend right over Kiddo's birthday and there was nothing to be done about it.  Not that I'm complaining.  I get what doing the Guard means when it comes to your weekends - you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

So we stuck to a day of at home fun with Mimi and Papa [who flew in for the occasion], and an evening of presents and yummy cake when the Hubby returned home from duty.

But, luckily for you, a cake was still made [!] and a whole bunch of cute pictures are here to go along with it.

Not all great days begin great...

But a little breakfast pick-me-up will do the trick!

Then on to play...

More play,

And more play.

Kiddo helped decorate her cake [and by decorate, I mean eat].

For this year's cake I wanted simple, but cute. 

Decorating with rainbow M&M's for a child who's learning colors was, actually,

a better idea than I expected.

Expecting her to understand blowing out candles, however, was not so good. [I spared you the pictures of her bawling, but she lost it as soon as we starting singing.]

So we figured out that the way to salvage the situation was a little practice with her Dada.

Which in the end, made all the difference in the world.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy Second Birthday, Goob!

Well, another year keeping our child alive.  I think we're on a roll here.

This year was a year of falling in love.

This year, Kiddo fell in love with parks,

with the dogs [and cat],

 with yogurt,

with water,

with her new friends,

with Halloween,

 with playing dress up,

with books,

with puzzles,

and with her baby dolls.

It's been an amazing pleasure getting to watch you grow up into a little person, Goob.  Congratulations on making it to two!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! [And a Peek Backwards]

There's a trend plowing through Instagram over the last couple of days of people posting short videos of their favorite photos over the last year, and while I haven't actually done one myself, I've really enjoyed getting to watch all the others.  I figured instead, I would do a little flashback of our year via blog [oh joy!].

Here are my top ten favorite moments of 2013, pictures and all!

[10] My child turned one.  This was a big one for me.  The first first birthday for our family, with a fun, Dr. Seuss themed birthday and all.  It's wild looking back on those photos of her - she wasn't walking, hardly talking, and barely registered on the scales.
[9] Valentine's Day. I remember the husband and I were in the middle of a rough emotional patch for some reason, and waking up that morning to a house full of hand cut hearts from my Honey just melted me.  Then I found out he wrote both Dellie and I our own poems, and I decided I had to stay married to this man forever.

[8] Making new friends.  I got an amazing opportunity over this last fall semester to hang out at a dear friend's house every week.  Both our husbands were busy the same evening, so kiddo and I would go over to her house to share dinner and build a deeper friendship, both for the adults and the children.

[7] Our fifth anniversary. We celebrated with some quality fun at the aquarium and finished the evening at Ted's Hot Dogs. It was fun doing something a little different and more family-oriented to celebrate just how much our marriage has evolved over the five years we've spent together. I know in the big scheme of life, five years is a drop, but I feel sort of accomplished that we made it this far, and with no signs of stopping any time soon.

[6] All the fixing up that happened in this house.  In some ways, they really shouldn't be considered favorite moments, but they are definitely a memorable series of events that happened over this year.  First, the water heater, which resulted in a week of freezing showers and three holes in the wall. Then the fridge, which took six repair visits and probably a hundred dollars in spoiled food before finally getting a new one.  Lastly, the pipes in our kitchen sink blowing apart because someone [ahem] plugged the disposal with potato peelings from Thanksgiving.  Oops.

[5] Dealing with my c-section.  I spent a good chunk of this year working through to a healing place with how my birth experience went, including sharing my own story to the whole wide world.  I am thankful for how much love and support my husband gave during all that time, and thankful that I have come to a stronger understanding of God's sovereignty, love and faithfulness through my struggle.

[4] The movie making extravaganzas.  This year my husband made ten short films, and I got the chance to help out with many of them in one capacity or another.  The best part was discovering an interest in editing, which I really hope to get better at over this next year.

[3] Our surprise visit for my dad's birthday.  I learned a few tips on flying with a one year old, and we really enjoyed getting to surprise family and friends.  The cold weather was also a huge bonus :)

[2] Watching kiddo fall in love with water.  Which is a good thing since we live in one of the hottest cities in the U.S.  She enjoyed playing in pools and splash parks so much this year that she gets almost morose when we don't let her jump in the fountain at the mall.

[1] This moment.  I still well up with all kinds of happy wife and mommy feelings when I see this picture.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Decorating: Year Two

I can't believe we decorated for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving.  It was far too early to decorate for this family, but we did! And I'm sure you've been waiting all year for the reveal of this year's Christmas tree.

[Background on the tree - we decided to start a tradition of creating a Christmas tree every year.  For the full details, head over to last year's decorating post.]

This year's tree was inspired by... my child.  I thought it would be really fun to have a tree she could play with, as a way to start being involved in the Christmas season.

cost: $20
supplies: felt, embroidery floss, buttons, velcro
inspiration: here and here

So this one was definitely more expensive than last year's practically-free-tree.  This is largely due to my jumping in maybe a little too far to this project. *Wink*  Originally the plan was to just stick a 2D felt tree to the wall with ornament shaped felt pieces for her to mess with to her heart's content, but then I saw THIS.

And I had to make one myself.

Three weeks later, it's done.  And it's almost everything I dreamed it would be.

It's cute. 

Kiddo loves playing with it.

Unfortunately, so does the cat.

As a whole, I am really pleased with how this year's tree turned out.  While it did take three times as long to make as I had planned, the end result was something that was worth the pain both figuratively and literally.  The buttons have turned out to be a little advanced for Kiddo's fine motor skills, but I'm going to assume that won't be the case next year. This tree is definitely something that will be coming out each Christmas until it gets destroyed - hopefully by small children loving it to death and not by the cat jumping out from under it to scare the dogs.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cloth Diapers at 18 - 21 Months

I had the plan of slowing down these diaper posts, because I assumed that after a while, I would just be repeating myself with the same old boring nonsense.  And then the last three months happened.

So our child.   She is busy.  She is growing up.  I thought the time of rapid development was over once she turned 1 1/2, but I guess I was wrong.

Talking.  A lot.  Over the last month she has spoken at least one new word a day. Granted, most of them require some sort of translation, but hey!  Another job skill I get to add to my parenting resume.

Growing.  She finally is big enough to register weight on our scale at home.  So far she's gotten to a whopping 23 pounds.  She's also starting to fit in 2T size clothes.  [I believe this is the first she's ever been ahead in clothing sizes.]

giving the cat a good wipe down

Activity.  She loves to climb. on. everything. Unfortunately, she is still too short for most things in the house, but she has taken to climbing up and down the one chair she can for 20 minute stints on a daily basis.  I don't complain.  She also has taken to slides, and finally figured out how to scramble [slowly] up playgrounds and down slides all by her little lonesome.  Again, no complaints.  One thing we know for sure - she is not gifted in the area of physical prowess.  Slow and awkward is the name of this game.

bringing dinner to some friends.

Mimicking.  She wants to do everything I do.  Put dishes away, carry groceries in, pick up dog poo.  [I'm not kidding.  She was wandering around the house with a grocery sack pretending to pick up imaginary poo this morning.  Hilarious.]  Its made some things more fun, like singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider"and "Wheels on the Bus," but other things not so fun, like chasing me to the bathroom yelling, "Potty! Potty!"

Speaking of Potty.  I've sort of started the potty training process.  I think I got a little gung-ho about it when I read about moms completely potty training their 20 month old genius babies in a weekend.  We do have a potty, and I do have her sit on it regularly in hopes that sometime she'll accidentally potty in it, and then magically decide to potty train herself in a weekend.  I'll be happy to supply the bribery and wipes.

helping pin laundry
Cloth Diapers.  This kid has started soaking through diapers quite a bit.  I am storing away a couple brands [Fuzzibunz is the big one] because she leaks through them within an hour.  Night time leaking is a consistent issue.  We use the most absorbent diaper we own and stuff it with two hemp inserts in order to keep her sheets dry in the morning. Unfortunately, that system only covers one night of each wash cycle.

So we're starting to use disposables for the other two nights.  Maybe over Christmas we'll ask for more inserts to get back to completely cloth diapering.

Or maybe our kid will be potty trained by then.

In your dreams.

Adelle - 18, 19, 20 & 21 Months 

# of Children: 1

Gender: female

Size: 23 lbs, 32 inches tall

Average # of Diapers a day: 7

Laundry Schedule: Every three days.

Routine: pre-folds used during awake times [changed every 1.5-2 hours], all-in-ones during nap, all-in-ones with two hemp inserts at night or disposables

Diaper Size: One size diapers - middle/large settings, Thirsties covers - size 2, middle setting, Disposables - size  4

Leaking?: At night, sometimes during naps, and sometimes if she's in a diaper for too long.  We've worked through some solutions, including more regular changes, extra inserts, and using disposables, if need be.

How's the Poo?: Wildly variant, thanks to a couple colds and some weird meals her mother made her eat.  I've also had a few unscheduled bathroom clean-ups due to an over-pressured diaper sprayer and bad positioning on my part [if you catch my drift.  If you don't, its for the better.]

Did you Use Disposables?: Yes, two out of every three nights, and whenever she rashes up really badly.  Currently, we are fighting eczema around her lower back, which happens to sit right at the elastic on her cloth diapers.  Unfortunately, we have no choice but to put her in disposables until it completely clears.

Any Changes: She grew a whole lot, and because of that all of her diapers have gotten readjusted.  Did I mention she pees a lot more too?

Any Issues: Leaking. Ha.

Still Like Cloth?: Indeed.  Sometimes the leaking and the stinking and the changing sheets and pants gets old, but, man, I sure like not having to budget for diapers every couple of weeks.